The Austin Chronicle

Memorial Day Shooting Proves Fatal

By Jordan Smith, June 3, 2011, News

Two men were shot, one fatally, and an Austin Police Department officer was injured Monday night in East Aus­tin. According to Chief Art Acevedo, two bicycle officers – Jeffrey Rod­ri­guez and Nathan Wagner – were on a patrol aimed at reducing the number of car burglaries just east of I-35, near the condos between Seventh and Eighth streets. They spotted two black males – 20-year-old Byron Carter and a 16-year-old who, as a juvenile, has not been named – "looking around as they walked, and acting suspicious," Acevedo said. The officers trailed the pair along Seventh and through a parking lot before heading east on Eighth. They lost sight of the suspects as the officers came upon a parked sedan facing the wrong way along the street's south curb. As the officers drew near, the sedan pulled out, striking Rodriguez and knocking him down; Wagner heard Rodriguez scream as he fell, Acevedo said. Believing that his partner was underneath the car and being dragged down the street, Wagner pulled his service weapon and fired "several rounds" at the car, striking both the 16-year-old driver and Carter, who was in the front passenger seat. The car sped off, but police quickly found it several blocks north, near the intersection of Olive and Branch streets; the driver was gone, but Carter remained and, at 11:30pm, was pronounced dead by paramedics. Police followed a blood trail north until they found the teen, who had been shot in the arm, in the parking lot of UT's Disch-Falk Field, on East MLK, just after midnight. Officer Rodri­guez was taken to the hospital with a ruptured Achilles tendon, Acevedo said, but should fully recover. The 16-year-old is in the hospital, in police custody, recovering from his injuries, and facing felony charges in connection with the incident. Wagner has been placed on administrative leave pending an inquiry into the shooting, which is standard procedure.

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